DSDP/DD/Board Report 2008
This is the proposed Report for the Device Debugging project, to be presented to the Eclipse Board on September 17, 2008.
- 1 Review of project scope and charter
- 2 A high-level review of technical progress, strategy and release plans.
- 3 Self-assessment of the performance of the project
- 3.1 Performance as an Eclipse open source project
- 3.2 End user community and adoption.
- 3.3 Commercial community and adoption. E.g. is the technology from the project showing up in products.
- 4 Compliance with the Roadmap
- 5 Board Assistance
- 6 Noteworthy
Review of project scope and charter
As described in its about page Device Debugging is a broad effort to improve the general experience of debugging embedded applications with Eclipse. Much of the project's focus has been on working with CDT and Platform projects to ensure that their architecture accommodates device debugging use cases. A framework and tools have also been developed within the Device Debugging project.
A high-level review of technical progress, strategy and release plans.
In its early phases, the Device Debugging project focused on contributing use cases and testing of new APIs in Platform Debug to allow for more flexibility in presentation of data in Eclipse's shared debugger views. These provisional APIs collective referred to as "Flexible Hierarchy API" were first included in Platform release 3.2, and have been refined in 3.3 and 3.4 releases. They are likely to remain provisional in 3.5 as well and finally made public in e4.
Within the Device Debugging project, a new debug model framework has been developed (DSF) which is an alternative to the standard debug model in Platform, and its 0.9 version was first released with the Europa train in 2007. A 1.0 version of DSF was released on the Ganymede train along with a reference implementation which integrates the GDB debugger. Currently additional features are being developed in this are for a 1.1 release scheduled for November 2008. Looking forward, the Device Debugging project is in talks with the CDT community to contribute DSF and the GDB integration to the CDT project starting with the Galileo train release.
The IP-XACT editor is a tool for editing schemas as defined by the SPIRIT consortium. It was first included in the Device Debugging project in the DD 0.9 release on the Europa train and has remained in the 0.91 version for the Ganymede train release. In the future this tool may be contributed to the proposed DSDP/Virtual Prototyping Platform project, which is the incubator project for DSDP.
Finally a Traditional Memeory Rendering was developed for viewing memory in the Platform memory view when debugging embedded applications. This tool was first included in the DD 0.9 release and has been incrementally improved since. In the future this tool may also be contributed to the CDT project.
Looking forward, as the various components developed within the Device Debugging project are contributed to other projects as planned, we must consider whether to continue maintaining Device Debugging as an active project is still worthwhile. The vibrant community that contributes to this project is a very positive influence in improving the debugging user experience in Eclipse, so whatever the outcome we will strive to maintain it.
Self-assessment of the performance of the project
Performance as an Eclipse open source project
Developer community participation has been great, while building a user community is only beginning. The project has participated in train releases and complies with EMO processes.
DD is open to external observers and participants. There are regular monthly calls with updates on project status as well as other regular and irregular calls focused on We have regular (usually monthly) conference calls which are documented with minutes on the project Wiki pages.
All technical discussions and project related announcements are sent to the public developer mailing list, which everyone is welcome to participate in.
All our work is documented using the standard Eclipse tools, Bugzilla, IP Zilla, and CVS commit logs.
We evaluate feature proposals on technical merit, and all participants on the DD committer team have equal voice in the discussions.
The currently actively contributing committers are from Wind River, Ericsson and Arm. Recent contributions came from ST Microelectronics, Nokia, and Freescale.
Compliance with the Purposes (e.g. are they successfully “..supplying frameworks and exemplary, extensible tools..”?)
MTJ is extensible and allows the user to integrate a wide range of SDKs and 3rd party tools.
End user community and adoption.
The project is only starting to build a user community with the GDB debugger integration.
Commercial community and adoption. E.g. is the technology from the project showing up in products.
The DSF framework is currently being used in Wind River product, and is also being adopted by ST Microelectronics and Ericsson for internal development. IP-XACT editor is used by Arm, and Traditional Memory Rendering is being adopted by Wind River and Freescale.
Compliance with the Roadmap
We are currently very well aligned and deliver along the road map defined earlier this year.
Much of the Device Debugging project has been to organize the diverse community of embedded development tools vendors and to use its collective wisdom in improving Eclipse. For example, much of the feature development in Platform Debug starting with release 3.2 came by request from this project. Likewise, the contribution of DSF to the CDT project will help the CDT project to revive its aging debugger architecture.